Touch Tours & Audio Description

Monday, 19 June 2017

In May we offered an audio description service and touch tour for our Auckland Masaaki Suzuki & Juilliard415 concert. Prior to the concert  members from Juilliard415 provided an explanation and practical demonstration of each of their instrument; the audience also got the chance to touch the instruments, feel the different shapes and materials and have a go at playing them. 

Browse through the highlights of the day in our Facebook gallery here and see what the participants thought of it all...



"The concert in Auckland was preceded by a really touching (and I mean that literally) event that allowed blind and low-vision patrons to interact with the musicians. This began with a handful of our players describing the look, sound, and function of their instruments, after which they (the blind and low-vision audience members) had a chance to touch them (the instruments) to get a better sense of what they were hearing. During the concert, there was also an audio commentary offered via special headphones that described what was happening on the stage. This was a new experience for all of us—a truly lovely idea and a creative type of outreach that we were honored to help facilitate."

-  Ben Sosland, Administrative Director of Juilliard Historical Performance



"We had a wonderful time on Friday night. It's amazing being able to follow through a programme, count up and keep track of movements, and reread the explanation of what is happening. I am pretty confident your programme is the second entire music concert programme I have had in a New Zealand concert hall in my lifetime."

- Mary A. Schnackenberg, AICOMMS (Accessible Information and Communications Limited Leaders in accessibility solutions for people with disabilities).


"I enjoyed the touch tour so much, it was so rewarding." - Ben Hoadley, Basson



“The students loved the touch tour. Most of them had never been up close to the instruments and one of them commented that they hadn’t realised a flute was played out to the side. It was wonderful for them to ‘see’ the instruments and when they heard them during the concert they could imagine what they looked like and how they were being played. The explanations the musicians gave about their instruments and how they were played gave the students a great ‘visual’ picture which they really appreciated.”



"Thank you to everyone who helped make the night such an awesome and memorable experience for our students with vision impairment. We would also like to say thank you so much to the musicians who were so accommodating and allowed us to feel and play the instruments. They were so friendly and made us feel very welcome."

- Jude Shelley, BLENNZ (Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ)


“I thought the AD was very good and loved haing the Braille programme. For me the Braille programme was more exciting than the AD to be honest as I could skim through the bits I wanted to read and do that in those 10 minutes before the concert starts just like everyone else which was super cool.” - Aine